Fan Bingbing denies she is Madame Bovary

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The “circular film format” was a hit with viewers at the Toronto International Film Festival, though it remains to be seen whether the domestic audience will feel the same.

The upcoming feature film I am Not Madame Bovary 我不是潘金莲 is based on the novel of the same name by Liu Zhenyun, and stars Fan Bingbing as Li Xuelian, a countryside woman who spends twenty years in court defending her reputation.

Director Feng Xiaogang‘s latest film will follow Fan in her arduous quest for justice as she attempts to prove to everyone that she is not Pan Jinlian, a name that has become synonymous with adultery and prostitution (hence the reference to Flaubert’s classic character in the title).

For those curious about the background, Pan Jinlian is a fictitious character from Ming Dynasty novel Plum in the Golden Vase 金瓶梅, and also appears briefly in famous novel Water Margin / All Men Are Brothers 水浒传. The following English-subbed trailer does a pretty good job of explaining the story.

Co-stars include Guo Tao (Coming Home) as the chef who has a crush on Li Xuelian, Da Peng as the magistrate, Zhang Jiayi as the city mayor and a dozen more male actors who are linked in one way or another to Fan’s character. The black comedy film will be released in Mainland cinemas on November 18th.

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